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Eager Lion drill’s 8th edition begins

7,000 members of military staff taking part this year

By JT - Apr 15,2018 - Last updated at Apr 15,2018

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Thalji (left) and US Maj. Gen. Jon Mott hold a joint press conference to launch the Eager Lion military drill for 2018 in Amman on Sunday (Petra photo)

AMMAN — The 2018 Eager Lion commenced on Sunday with the participation of the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) and the US army.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Thalji, military training director and the drill’s spokesperson, said that the exercise, which was first held in 2011, sees the participation of ground, marine and air forces that amount to 7,000 members, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

In a joint press conference with Maj. Gen. Jon Mott, the director of exercises and training at the US Central Command, Thalji added that this year's version aims at improving operational coordination between JAF and the US army, training on fighting terrorism and border security, evacuation processes and crisis management. 

The war games also aim at training on search and rescue, fighting e-terrorism and executing joint logistic assistance operations, among other goals that JAF always seeks to acquire as part of its continuous efforts to develop operational, training and humanitarian capabilities, he added. 

The drill events will be implemented on JAF training fields with the participation of all JAF units, security apparatuses, ministries and government and non-government organisations, in addition to the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management, to enhance relations between JAF and other institutions under unconventional conditions, Thalji added.

He added that this year's Eager Lion includes several new hypotheses and intricacies that accord with the nature of threats and developments that happened in the strategic environment in the region.

For his part, Mott said that the drill will offer, for the first time, a course on basic skills to add a professional character and necessary information for ground troops in the pre-execution phase. 

He added that about 3,500 US service members are taking part in the eighth version of the Eager Lion, which is considered a main component of the US-Jordanian strategic partnership and helps prepare both countries' armies, noting that hard work over the past 12 months has contributed to enhanced cooperation and confidence. 

Mott said that participating troops are exercising to develop their capabilities of cooperation with government institutions to activate a mobile laboratory that responds to a simulated chemical incident. 

"It’s [chemical incident] a threat all too real, as we’ve seen recently in Syria.”

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